I never thought in a million years I would ever be cheated on. Unfortunately, just last year I was blindsided when someone I deeply loved, who I admired and effortlessly dated did what I though was the unthinkable. I was betrayed by a man I who adored me, who would never even think of hurting me and more importantly, would never be unfaithful to me.
The worst part was I was told by a woman I did not know. She informed me she was the “other woman” and that my Prince Charming had been continuously unfaithful to me for almost a year. I died inside immediately. My spirit, faith and confidence perished all at once. It was hard to just breathe and walk let alone call a friend and cry harder than ever before. How would I smile again? How would I get back my positivity and confidence? Will I be able to trust people again especially men? Those were all questions among many others running through my head daily. Eventually I found the answers and in return found myself. Little did I know that one of my darkest days would also be the beginning of a beautiful and brighter future.
If I can get through being cheated on I am 100% sure all women can as well. Yes it was extremely difficult and at times seemingly impossible but I made it through. Listed below are the stages I went through and the steps I took to grieve, heal and grow. These stages may not hold true for everyone, but hopefully this will bring some comfort to someone who is in the same position I was in not too long ago. Ultimately, learning to find and explore our inner strength is something from which we all can benefit.
Stage one: Feeling the Pain.
I found out, let go and letting myself feel low…really darn low.
First off, I immediately decided I never wanted to contact him again. I left him and did not respond to his one and only attempt to contact me (which was via email). That took almost every ounce of energy I had within me. With what energy was left I used it to cry. I cried, slept and cried for days literally to the point of being unable to cry anymore. Learning of his infidelity caused me to lose my appetite. I ate only what sounded good and I watched movies that would be mindless to watch. I surrounded myself with people that only were supportive and understanding (which also involved revealing who my real friends were). Going to work, coming home and going to bed felt like the best and most honest thing I could do for myself. Eventually I was able to take baby steps such as going for walks, eating more and learning to smile when things were actually funny. Seems weird to say now, but I had to honestly let myself be sad until I was finished grieving. This set me up for only moving onwards at my own pace and with a blank slate in a sense.
Stage two: Seeking professional help.
About two weeks after that fateful day I researched and found a counselor. I wanted her to help me with not letting this event of someone lying and disrespecting me effect my future any more than what has been effected already. I needed her unbiased opinion to listen to me and let me work through my inner struggles. My friends and family could only help so much and I knew a professional would be the most proactive step to healing. There is no shame in seeking help, in fact it is empowering and signifies self-respect. Indeed it was a bit pricey but in a sense it was also priceless for how much she helped me.
Stage three: New Life
Finally, I was ready to learn how to flap my new wings and find my way down a new (my own) path.
My counselor helped me come to the realization of the importance of keeping active with healthy hobbies and exercising my new wings. Immediately I enrolled in Crossfit (also great for meeting new faces and getting out some anger ;), I volunteered more in my community and bravely booked a solo trip to Europe. This all gave me reassurance that I was going to be “A-OK”. It also felt amazing to check off things on the ol’ bucket list! I still had my “rough days” but I knew of many healthy techniques for coping with sadness from my counselor. It was empowering to be able nurture myself, to say the least.
Being cheated on was a terrible experience yet it catapulted me to the most beautiful journey in finding and exploring my empowered self. Life is a big adventure, but at the end of the day it’s all about what we make of the experiences along the way. Stay strong and remember that you are as powerful as you decide to be!